Installation Costs for Wind Turbines
Scottish Site 1
Novar Wind Farm, Scotland, under construction in a moor, July 1997. Photograph by Steffen Damborg
Scottish Site 2 Installation costs include foundations, normally made of reinforced concrete, road construction (necessary to move the turbine and the sections of the tower to the building site), a transformer (necessary to convert the low voltage (690 V) current from the turbine to 10-30 kV current for the local electrical grid, telephone connection for remote control and surveillance of the turbine, and cabling costs, i.e. the cable from the turbine to the local 10-30 kV power line.
Installation Costs Vary
Obviously, the costs of roads and foundations depend on soil conditions, i.e. how cheap and easy it is to build a road capable of carrying 30 tonne trucks. Another variable factor is the distance to the nearest ordinary road, the cost of getting a mobile crane to the site, and the distance to a power line capable of handling the maximum energy output from the turbine.
A telephone connection and remote control is not a necessity, but is is often fairly cheap, and thus economic to include in a turbine installation.
Transportation costs for the turbine may enter the calculation, if the site is very remote, though usually they will not exceed some 15 000 USD.
Economies of Scale
It is obviously cheaper to connect many turbines in the same location, rather than just one. On the other hand, there are limits to the amount of electrical energy the local electrical grid can handle (see the section on Wind Turbines in the Electrical Grid ). If the local grid is too weak to handle the output from the turbine, there may be need for grid reinforcement, i.e. extending the high voltage electrical grid. It varies from country to country who pays for grid reinforcement - the power company or the owner of the turbine.
© Copyright 1997-2003 Danish Wind Industry Association
Updated 19 September 2003
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